Before we know it, Christmas is already around the corner. My favorite season of the year, Christmas is a special time for getting together with friends and family and reminding ourselves that we are loved.
Speaking of feeling loved, today I have a great storybook to share with you. It's called I Love You All The Time, which is just as adorable as the title suggests.
I Love You Thiiiis Much
I Love You All The Time is a storybook app that was adapted from a popular children's book of the same name by twin sisters Jessica Elin Hirschman and Jennifer Elin Cole. Using a family of bears as an illustration, the story tells of the unconditional love that parents feel for their children.
In total, the book consists of seven pages with several lines of verse on each page. The title of the book is always recited at the end of each verse to emphasize the message that the story tries to convey, for example in the third page:
I love you when
I play with you,
I work all day.
I love you when
I'm next to you,
I'm far away.
I Love You All The Time
Accompanying the story are colorful illustrations that depict everyday situations revolving parents and their children. It is interesting to note that the scenes included in the app do not adhere to the "ideal" image of a family. Mama Bear, for example, leaves to work at the office during the day and Papa Bear makes Baby Bear wait until he finishes talking on the phone.
By default, the app is set to read-to-me mode. A gentle female voice narrates the story while the app highlights each read word. If necessary, juniors can tap on the text on each page to hear them reread as many times as they want.
Like many digital storybooks, I Love You All The Time is embedded with interactive tidbits to entertain young readers. However, they are only tappable until the narrator has finished reading the page, which is a great design decision on the developers' part to let juniors focus on the story.
An interesting feature of the app is the ability to listen to the story as a song. This is the first time I have seen such feature implemented in an app, and I quite like it. The song, which has a country feel to it, is nice to listen and sing along to.
What Parents Need to Know
I Love You All The Time is a sweet story that highlights the loving relationship of parents and their children. The simple verses and catchy rhymes allow the book to be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
A great feature of the app is the ability to customize it in many ways. You can, for example, mute the narration and background music, turn off the animations until the narration is completely read or add your child's name at the end of the story. You can also record your own narration to provide a personalized reading experience.
Presentation-wise, the app utilizes cute and brightly colored illustrations. There are lots of hidden interactions on every page that encourage juniors to explore. The app also sneaks in educational lessons as well -- if you tap on the individual letters that are stitched on Baby Bear's quilt, you can hear their names.
Parents will be happy to know that the app has a child-friendly design and does not contain ads or social media links. There is a link for downloading the story's theme song on iTunes Store, but you can disable it from the Settings menu.
What I Liked About the App
I Love You All The Time is a charming story that I believe will resonate with most, if not all, parents. I was near tears when I first read the story; the verses were simple but the message was deep.
My favorite scene was the one where Mama Bear calls her cub from work. When you tap on her, you will hear her tell Baby Bear that they will play after work. Coming from a family in which both parents work, this scene really struck a chord with me. Many would say that it is not an "ideal" situation, but that is how real families are. Just because some parents can't see their kids often, it doesn't mean that they do not love them.
In addition to the endearing story, I also have to admire the app for its polished presentation. The illustrations are lovely, the animations light but delightful, and the music soothing. The customization options are well implemented and should be the standard of children's storybook apps.
I know that we have reviewed plenty of book apps on our blog, but I Love You All The Time is definitely in my top five. The endearing plot and the soothing atmosphere of the book make it a great pick to read before bedtime, but frankly, it is also good for any time of the day. Highly recommended!
Get it on the App Store: iPad
Note: Many thanks to Jennifer Elin Cole for providing us with the promo code for I Love You All The Time. Yes, we loved it that much.